Judge gives Robin Williams' wife, kids more time to work out estate issues

Battle over late actor Robin Williams' estate continues

The wife of Robin Williams and his children will have more time to hash out their dispute over the late actor's estate.

His wife, Susan Schneider Williams, and his children have been working to resolve their issues through negotiations and mediation but have not yet reached a settlement, according to San Francisco Superior Court documents.

The family has come to an agreement on how to distribute the disputed items, but there are still some issues that need to be worked out.

About 300 items, including books, bicycles, some artwork and watches, are still a matter of contention.

At a hearing Monday, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Andrew Cheng allowed both sides until July 29 to come to a resolution.

Following a March 30 hearing, movers, lawyers and agents stripped Williams' Tiburon home of thousands of items of personal property, removing art off walls and emptying closets, according to court documents.

“It was an incredibly invasive process made exponentially more difficult by the fact that so many of the items taken were intimately connected with Susan’s memories of her husband, who had only recently passed away,” her attorney, James Wagstaffe, said in court documents.

Williams’ children are also entitled to receive his clothing as a part of his trust, an issue particularly sentimental to the late actor’s wife.

Susan Williams is asking to keep some items, such as his slippers and old T-shirts he often wore, because they remind her of him, Wagstaffe told the Los Angeles Times.

Robin Williams committed suicide Aug. 11, 2014, in his Tiburon home.

Williams left most of his estate to his children, Cody, 23, and Zelda, 25, whose mother is Williams' second wife, Marsha Garces; and Zachary, 31, Williams' son with his first wife, Valerie Velardi.

A spokesman for Williams’ children, Allan Mayer, said in a statement that the estate’s trustees “have been following both the letter and the spirit of Robin’s instructions.”

Mayer added, “The children of Robin Williams cannot understand why [Schneider] is challenging the estate plan he so carefully made to provide generously not only for them but for her as well.”

According to court documents filed by Susan Williams, Williams had ensured that his children receive any future income from his acting career, life insurance proceeds, a property in Napa, liquid assets and valuable pieces of personal belongings.

Williams' estate is estimated to be worth more than $100 million, Wagstaffe said.

Williams also made sure his wife and her two sons received substantial gifts, including the home they shared and the creation of a trust in her name to pay for living expenses. But the trust has not been funded due to the ongoing legal battle.

Now both sides are looking to appraise the home to determine how much money will go into her trust to fund her living expenses for her lifetime.

Wagstaffe said Robin knew that Susan was an artist who was making a modest living when he married her, so he created the trust to ensure she could still take care of herself.

“Robin’s trust was real clear,” Wagstaffe said. “He wanted to make sure she got to stay in the house.”

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

10:56 p.m.: This story has been updated to include comments from a representative of Williams' children.

2:19 p.m.: This story was updated to include that the judge gave the parties more time to reach a resolution, to include an estimated value of the estate and comments from Susan Williams' attorney.

11 a.m.: This story was updated with more background information on Williams' children. 

This story was first published at 10:42 a.m.

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